Sunday, 12 July 2015

in July...

Friday 3rd: musical afternoon with Julia. The only one I will have with her during this stay. We played and sang Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Granados, Richard Strauss, Schumann, Grieg and Ravel. Julia was in good shape vocally, but doesn’t have the same energy anymore to sing for an extended amount of time. I struggled sight-reading Ravel's Sheherazade. Beautiful songs, but the piano part (a piano transcription of the orchestral score) was quite impossible to render.

Earlier that day... Met up briefly at a café with Vanessa and Hans before he took the train at Gare du Nord. I had not seen him since he returned to South Africa. Vanessa was the one who organised the reunion. Hans needs to get out of his shell. He has been spending most of his time doing real estate and teaching at his school. Still lives with mom. Not much of a private life. No time for it, he claims. But he knows very well... 

Saturday 4th: Meeting with Sébastien the sound engineer of the Lost Star project. A very likeable and friendly chap. We found out we had one key people in common: Julia! And the Steve Karen had been mentioning was none other that Julie Darnal’s husband. How tiny the world is…
We went through all the technical aspects of the show. All was well. I felt so happy to be in
Paris and have those two weeks or so to myself, seeing friends and family. Only the third day! Hooray!

Later that day: An e-mail from Greece: Adam told me I was needed back sooner in Kokkino Nero. Karen was in dispair. The musicians are at loss. Things could be dangerously catastrophic...

4th of July with Evelyn her family and some friends. My first Fourth of July with Americans, not that it really means much to me. I was happy to see Evelyn, and especially her daughter Imo. She’s grown into a beautiful, extremely smart and sensitive girl.
“Imo had been wishing for you to come" Evelyn told me, "but she said she would understand if you couldn't have”.
Salmon, potatoes, corn and an apple pie on the menu. “That’s the tradition” Evelyn told me. “And also talking about how great
America is” she added with a twinkle.  

Sunday 5th:A distressed call from Karen this morning which left me more than slightly annoyed. Her voice had sounded tense on the phone. She needed to see me at once. Things were out of control. I know the lady, I know the problem: insecurity. Once I had gone, she couldn't find her marks and panicked. The musicians were unable to do anything, as she relied on me 'the composer' to tell her what to do. I told her the only solution I could see now was to prepare all the backing tracks, music and vocals (especially) so that she would hear on stage exactly what is on the album. I would of course arrange some space for the musicians to still play at least something, but it basically a playback show. Why do I keep thinking of Jean Hagen's Lina Lamont in Singin' in the Rain?
I am to fly back as quickly as possible. Adam would get me the next flight. I still hope I will be fast enough in my work to secure some time to see a few friends.

I was really looking forward to be in
Paris to celebrate all the birthdays, my nephew’s, my mother’s, Philippe’s, mine, the premiere of ‘Thin Ice’ as well as my brother’s wedding anniversary. It would have been the first time in seven years or so.
We had a little family gathering today. Mathilde wasn’t there, as her presence was needed at some lingerie fair. “It’s rare when the four Ton That are together” my mother said with delight. Remembrance of time past when my brother and I had not yet taken flight from the family nest.
My mother’s condition has sensibly declined. However, when her spirits are up when I’m there. Even though I am fully aware of her condition, I don’t let it alter my rapport with her (just like I don’t like to talk like a retarded when communicating with a toddler).
Vanessa dropped by for an hour and proudly announced to my father that the series of concerts of his music which she had been organising for more than a year had finally been accepted and will take place at the end of the year. My father of course was very glad when he heard the news.
My brother insisted that I tried to stay until the 12th included. The decision doesn’t depend on me, but I keep my hopes high. My heart was heavy. Time with family is precious and I was upset I had to sacrifice it someone’s vanity project. Angry thoughts were zooming in and out in my mind like flies. 
As Karen had pointed out too often than not: I was paid for that job, and therefore was expected to do as I was told.
Wednesday 8th: Dinner with the Sanfilippo sisters, Vanessa and Cynthia. Could it just hang in the air, so I can enjoy it for a longer time? 

Sunday 12th: So I managed to convince Karen's entourage that everything would be alright and that there was no need to worry. (take a deep breath and once more with feeling)
Our last encounters were tense to say the least. I know that I should not accept any job offer if I don't believe in it. In my case, easy money is certainly not an option.
We celebrated both Vu An and my mother's birthday. Garden party, grilled steak provided by my brother. Vu An once again showered with presents. I even got one myself: a Bose portable music speaker. My brother has been quick to understand that I liked that object. The timing couldn't have been better: it would offer a few moment of solace in Greece!
The family mood was happy. But I was too cross with Karen to fully enjoy it.

No comments:

Post a Comment